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Happy New Year!

December 27th, 2020

We’re coming to end of a year that has been unique. Many people use ‘unique’ in the wrong way. They use it when they simply mean ‘different’ – but unique actually means ‘one of a kind’. I don’t think anyone making plans and resolutions last January could have imagined what 2020 would be like and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it has been truly unique!

For many it has been very difficult. So many people have been seriously ill or died; so many people now find themselves unemployed or the hours they work (and their income) have dropped. Both personal and government debt across the world has soared. Others have found the isolation of lockdown hard to bear and have not been able to access the non-Covid healthcare they need. Read the rest of this entry »




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Editing Your Novel – Stage One

December 20th, 2020

First, thanks to Keith for last week’s post. It was great to hear from someone who’s had a connection with Writers Bureau for so long and has done so well. And, I think you can read between the lines just how much pleasure he’s had from his career as a writer!

Moving on to something completely different, this week I’m going to provide the would-be novelists amongst you with a checklist that we recommend you follow before even contemplating sending off your work to an agent, publisher or self-publishing it.

Does the story make sense?

Have you made the journey from the beginning to the end in a logical way, with each stage clearly set out and leading on to the next? Is the ending believable? Is there one easily followed narrative strand all the way through the text? Is it obvious who your protagonist is and what that character is trying to achieve? Read the rest of this entry »




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Thinking Outside The Box

December 12th, 2020

Between 2003 and 2018 I made a living as a freelance writer, musician and historian. Prior to this I had been in charge of a secondary school history department for over 30 years. I ‘retired’ at 70 in 2018 but the Covid crisis of 2020 led to a reversal in my retirement plans and it was back to work to preserve sanity in lockdown. I also decided to organise properly the work I’d had published when I needed to make money as a freelance. At the time I had stored and catalogued them simply in date order. The new system has enabled me to share with you how I went about making part of my living through free-lance writing.

When I started freelancing in 2003 I had already published a number of academic and popular articles on family history and the history of traditional music, song and dance. I joined the Writers’ Bureau in order to seek advice on how to structure my proposed career. The advice given then proved both helpful and fruitful. Read the rest of this entry »




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From Stand Up to Sonnets

December 4th, 2020

First, thanks for Amanda for last week’s post. I don’t know how I would have managed without the library BorrowBox App during lockdown when our local libraries were closed. Now I intend to look into lots more of the suggestions that she packed in. I also found it so inspiring that even when she was up against serious health problems she still found time to write!

This week is going to be something of a miscellany – but hopefully an interesting one!

First, have a look at Write Life’s 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2020 (I know we’re nearly in 2021, but it’s still good). There are 10 categories which include Freelancing, Blogging, Travel, Publishing, Podcast etc. To ensure that the content is genuinely good they only include sites that have been recommended by readers of The Write Life; the published content is judged to be helpful to writers and the list is updated recently and regularly. I hope you find it useful. Read the rest of this entry »




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